Sunday, 23 April 2017

That Sunday Post: Nine

I have missed writing these posts! The problem with depression is that sometimes you have to just have to retreat from things and rememeber that actually there is more to life than the internet. So i retreated. I went to the #IntuSpringStyle event and bloody loved it! I met some really nice bloggers and it also reaffirmed my love for fashion and helped me start to see again where I want this blog to go! I also started my Beauty Under A Fiver series which seems to have gone down well so far!

What else have I done? I have given blood, I have been for afternoon tea, I have spent a lot of time swimming and in the jacuzzi, I have worked on some different wards, I have eaten and drank a lot of food and spent some time with a lot of my friends!

I have also been spending a lot of time in bed watching netflix (I have been really into Benidorm again recently) and eating chocolate (the dairy milk mint oreo is fabulous). Trying to avoid all the drama going around the blogosphere and just generally thinking about myself!

I'm struggling with my pain control at the moment, I am taking a lot of painkillers and taking things easy BUT I am going on holiday soon and I have a huge list of blog posts I would like to get going, keeping this space to focus on Health, Food and Lifestyle while Shoestring Chic focuses on budget fashion, makeup etc

Charlotte Lucy

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Best Post Night Shift Breakfasts In Leicester

If you didn't know already (and really if you don't I obviously don't moan about it here as much as I thought I did) I work night shifts. I am a health care assistant and as I don't have a permanent ward any more I never really know what to expect from my shifts. I generally do Monday to Wednesday night every week and my shifts can range from very relaxing (yes it does happen) to not stopping all night long (which is more of the norm)

One of the rituals I tend to stick to though is after my last night is that I go to my gym for a swim, jacuzzi, hot tub and long hot shower session and then I treat myself to breakfast. After trying out a few different places in Leicester these are my favourites ...

Built in 1723 and in the beautiful lanes area of Leicester, Mrs Bridges has long been my favourite for afternoon tea but it wasn't until recently that I started going for breakfast. From a traditional English breakfast to the (still to be sampled) Caspian breakfast which has waffles, avocado, cream cheese and smoked salmon, I am sure there is something for everyone! My absolute favourite so far though is the french toast pictured above which I could eat every single day! All the breakfasts are £6.50 too which is a bloody bargain! They open at 9, so especially if I am working at the hospital out of town there's not long to wait!

Not far from Mrs Bridges in St Martins Square is Kai. The only dish I have tried from Kai is the eggs Benedict, but it is beautiful enough to earn it a spot on this list ... that's surely a reason to give it a go? Some days I just have to think of the eggs Benedict to get me through! The only problem is I am not sure of the opening times! Some days I feel like I am waiting forever and it doesn't open so I end up going to another place ... luckily I have lots of choice!

My all time favourite coffee shop to go for the absolute best non dairy lattes. I am not vegan or dairy intolerant but with my IBS milk and coffee together do not seem to be a good mix. Dolce and Verde is probably the most chilled out coffee shop ever (and they always have a great play list on) So I love having my breakfast, a good oatly latte and anything off the breakfast menu ... although my favourite was probably the breakfast wrap from the specials menu. The staff are always friendly and I couldn't recommend it more!

If you fancy a quick bite or maybe to grab and go I can't recommend the 200 degrees coffee shop which has not long opened on market street Leicester. Like Dolce and Verde this opens early meaning that its open before I even get into town! I went in there for a chilled morning and a bacon sandwich, when I saw they do rubbed bacon ... bacon that is rubbed with coffee! It was quite a strange taste, but nonetheless delicious and that's why its made it into my favourites!

Have I missed out your favourite breakfast spot? Is there anywhere you think I should visit?

Charlotte Lucy 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Discovering My IBS Triggers With The Food Diary Co

You will know by now I have IBS. If you didn't this is probably your first time on this blog, so in that case hello my name is Charlotte and IBS has been part of my life for the past 13 years (or half my life if you want to look it it like that.)

I am also an anxiety sufferer and I am stuck in a bit of a chicken or the egg situation with my bowels and my mind, which is causing which and which should I focus on first in the ongoing battle to live a happy, pain free life. As it turns out tackling both at the same time seems to be the only way to truly see whats making it worse.

When I discovered The Food Diary Co on twitter I messaged them straight away to see if they would like to work with me (something I struggle with doing) and was thrilled when they said Yes! These diaries are the first I have seen that as well as being a conventional diary also have spaces to write things such as stress levels and sleep!

This is where the diary has really come into its own for me. After trying and failing the FODMAP diet and finding that while on Symprove I was going to the toilet even more a day then normal (which could be anywhere from 3 to 30!) I was constantly tying myself in knots of what I could and couldn't eat. I wouldn't go anywhere I didn't know where there was a loo and I had a long list in my head of things I thought would make me poorly.

It didn't take long using the diary though to realise that the anxiety I held around eating was meaning that anything I didn't consider safe would cause me to panic before I ate it and set the whole cycle in motion. I will be going into detail with this in a later post but thanks to the diary I realised that getting my mind in a state of calm before eating would inevitably mean less side effects after!

Its not as straight forward as my IBS is cured (wouldn't that be nice?) and I am still continuing to use the diary to discover what my triggers are but I couldn't recommend it enough! Keep an eye out for future updates but please make sure to go follow The Food Diary Co!

Charlotte Lucy

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The only way is up ... I think.

If I had a physical health problem, like when I had gasorenteritis or tonsilitis I would have no problem ringing up and cancelling my shifts. So it baffles me that when the beginning of last week despite trying to supress it for a couple of weeks now, on realising I needed some time off to heal my mind, I couldnt face ringing them.

It also occured to me that I have never once told an employer that I needed time off because of my depression or anxiety. And that SUCKS. Now this isn't me saying my employers are horrible, I might tell them and they might be really sympathetic but there is just a wall there that stops me.

For weeks now I have had a niggle that something isnt right. I have been requiring a lot more sleep, I havent really been feeding myself properly, I havent wanted to socialise and I have had a real kind of empathy towards doing anything. Do you know how exhausting it is to try and wnjoy yourself when you are feeling down?

Don't get me wrong there have been rare snips of time during this when I have really enjoyed myself! The #IntuSpringStyle event for example was fabulous, but with every high comes an even deeper low.

I have been spending money like its going out of fashion. Luckily my tastes are more budget or I would be in a lot of trouble. I opened up about this in the Money Mess to Financial Success group run by the lovely Jenni and I have been overwhelmed by the support! Also Reading Cait's post Treating yourself is not the answer hit me like a tonne of bricks. I know eaxactly how she was feeling with what she was saying.

Anyway, this is a bit rambly but I just had to get it down how I was feeling.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

March Foodie Favourites!

In typical cliche blogger prose, HOW is it the end of March already?

Strangely march has gone both slowly and really fast at the same time. I have said recently that my week seems to be split into two parts, work and play, and obviously work goes incredibly slow and play far too fast! In my last Foodie Favourites post I took a more structured approach and chose a favourite breakfast, lunch, dinner etc but I didn't want to stick to the rules this time and thought I would just share what I have been loving! So here goes!

I tried all three flavours this month when I picked them up from boots but I think the apple and ginger is just slightly in first place! I used to drink honey and lemon when I had a sore throat and these drinks remind me of that. They are soothing and refreshing and I am sure I will be drinking them a lot! I am trying to cut down on fizzy drinks.

I'm sure you will be aware by now that I treat myself to breakfast out after a set of night shifts and the ONLY place to go for eggs benedict is KAI in St Martins. With their locally sourced produce the bread is fresh, the bacon crispy and the hollandaise the tastiest I have ever had. I will never have eggs benedict anywhere else after being disappointed by another couple of locals (although I have been recommended somewhere to try in Birmingham so watch this space!)

I bought these on a bit of a whim and if I am honest didn't really expect to like them, they are organic chickpea puffs and I am not the biggest fan of chickpeas. Recipe for disaster right? Well I had to eat my words faster than I could eat a bag of Hippeas! They are high in fibre but didn't upset my IBS and a source of protein. The texture reminded me of wotsits, but sadly there isn't a cheese flavour! I had the sweet and smokin though which I would definitely pick up again and I am looking forward to trying the other flavours!

It is that time of the year when the Easter chocolate is out in full force and I find myself eating far too many creme eggs. This year though I have found myself reaching for the mini eggs more often! I don't know what it is about them but I have just wanted to eat them every day (I haven't though. That much sugar would give me mad headaches)

The Crafty Poet At Crafty Burger

If you ever want a burger in Leicester there is only one place to go - Crafty burger. Thursday, Friday & Saturday St Martins coffee shop becomes crafty burger. With a small but perfectly done menu there is something for everyone (vegetarians and vegans included!) We went for Tom's birthday and I had the crafty poet - a fantastic mix of beef patty, applewood smoked cheddar, American cheese, smoked streaky bacon, salted onion crisps, aioli and BBQ sauce! By default it is cooked pink and this makes for a wonderful taste. Another place with locally sourced ingredients, If you haven't tried this I would make a reservation straight away!

So there you have it! A mix of things I have loved this month. What have you been loving and what do you recommend I try in April?

Charlotte Lucy

Thursday, 23 March 2017

I'm OK but only OK.

I have been throwing myself into work all guns blazing. 

I have also been saying yes to days out, meals out whatever life throws at me.

I feel like I am running on a treadmill and I have to keep running. If I start to slow down I'll fall straight off it and end up crying in a heap on the floor battered and bruised.

I don't feel like I have seen my friends in ages and I feel like unless I make some time for them I'm going to end up alone.

Yet there's always an extra shift to pick up.

An extra little pay check to go towards the credit card or the house deposit.

Yet my current house is in chaos

I keep on telling myself I'll take a break.

As soon as the holiday comes I'll rest. I won't work as much. I'll be kind to myself. I'll have more balance.

And yet

I still keep running on that treadmill.